OUR BLOG

Dental Coverage for Older Adults Should be Coordinated and Evidence-Based

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Oral Health | No Comments
Maddie suffers from Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract leading to significant weight loss, fatigue, and pain.[1] Recently, Maddie’s symptoms have gotten much worse and her doctor has decided that her best treatment option is chemotherapy. Maddie, like many older adults, has very poor teeth. Her doctor has told her that he will not proceed with the chemotherapy until she has her teeth fixed because the risk of infection is too great. The solution seems easy: Maddie just needs to see a dentist who will deliver the proper treatment and Maddie can receive her chemotherapy. In reality, however, Maddie has ping-ponged between her doctors and her oral health providers for two months and ultimately sought help from a legal advocate when her dental services were denied. The barriers Maddie faces are overwhelming, but fixable. Read More

Repeal of the ACA—Without a Replacement—Threatens California Seniors

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments
There are currently 7.6 million older adults living in California who rely on Medicare, Medi-Cal, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to see a doctor, receive care in their home, and pay for prescription drugs. The repeal of the ACA threatens these critical programs, jeopardizing the care seniors receive every day. Read More

High Stakes for Older Adults in 2017

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments
With the New Year upon us, one thing is clear: the stakes could not be higher for older adults in 2017.

As the number of people age 65 and over living in America continues to rise, new leadership in Washington, DC is promising to dramatically reform and reduce the safety net upon which older adults rely. These changes – should they occur – will negatively impact all older adults, but they will cause particular harm to the millions of older adults already living in or near poverty. Read More

Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a Replacement Hurts Seniors

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, Safety Net Defense | No Comments
Every day, whether seniors need to see a doctor, receive care in their home, or pay for prescription drugs, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are lifelines for older adults. However, the entire health care system upon which older adults rely is at risk in the new Congress. Changes to the ACA will dramatically alter the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and jeopardize the care seniors receive each day. Read More

Dignity For All: Ensuring Economic Security as America Ages

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments
On Tuesday, November 15, we hosted a forum focused on how advocates and policy makers can work together to address the health and economic security issues affecting older adults. At Dignity For All: Ensuring Economic Security as America Ages, three panels of academics, advocates, and service providers shared data, stories, and policy recommendations to raise awareness of the issue of senior poverty and inspire action to improve the health and economic security of older adults. Read More

NALC Meets the National Center on Law and Elder Rights

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, Uncategorized | No Comments
On October 29, aging advocates closed out another successful annual National Aging and Law Conference (NALC) in Alexandria, Virginia. Unpacking, I sifted through the usual post-conference paper trail tornado: hotel notepads scribbled with ideas, business cards of inspiring advocates, and brochures from innovative legal programs. Reading through these materials, a few words kept popping up-partnership, engagement, coordination, capacity. Read More

Systemic Denti-Cal Problems Increase Financial Hardship for Older Adults

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, Oral Health | No Comments
Linda—a low-income older adult living in Los Angeles County—applied for a dental credit card after being advised to do so by her dentist. Her dentist’s office explained that, while she has dental coverage through Denti-Cal, it often takes a long time to get authorizations approved and it would be in her best interest to pay right now with the card and get reimbursed later. When Linda received her statement, it showed she owed over $2,000. Not only did she receive services that were not covered by her insurance, she also was charged for services that should have been covered by Denti-Cal but that were denied because her dentist’s office did not properly submit the claim to Denti-Cal. Unable to pay the $2,000 within the no-interest six month promotional period, Linda was hit with the balance plus six months of interest that accrued at 26.9%. Distraught, Linda contacted a legal advocate who is now working to dispute the charges and to rescind the credit card contract. Read More

An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults

By | BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE | No Comments
“When I first booked transportation for my kidney dialysis, they would not let me book more than one month out at a time. What did they think was going to happen, I would stop needing dialysis?” —Diana, on trying to access Medicaid’s non-emergency medical transportation

Diana is one of 7.1 million Americans who rely on Medicaid’s non-emergency transportation benefit (NEMT) to help her get to her medical appointments. NEMT is an important Medicaid benefit for the people who rely on transportation services to help them visit their doctors, receive treatment for chronic conditions, and travel to settings such as adult day health care. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services. When transportation services work, they help people get to their doctors and other needed health services so they can continue to live at home and in the community. When they do not work, Medicaid beneficiaries like Diana are left stranded, frustrated, and without access to needed medical care and services. Read More

New Legislation in Congress Seeks to Bolster Access to Medicare for Low-Income Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE | No Comments
By Directing Attorney of Health Jennifer Goldberg and Borchard Fellow Catherine Bourque

Sandy had a good job as a registered nurse, and a middle class standard of living. She lost her husband and her ability to work her physically demanding job around the same time, leaving her with no income. Because of her job as a nurse, she receives just enough Social Security to be disqualified from means-based assistance like Medicaid and subsidized housing. As a result she spends a large percentage of her monthly income on rent, leaving little money to cover food or her Medicare copayments and premiums. Read More